Today is the 3rd Sunday of Lent. In the liturgy of today, we see the Israelites complaining against God and Moses because they were thirsty. They forgot how far God has guided them since they left Egypt and doubted his presence in their midst. God listened to the voice of Moses and provided water for the people of Israel. Establishing the fact that he was still with the people. One would have expected that with the way God brought them out of Egypt, their faith would have been strengthened by their experiences. Apparently they have forgotten how God led them out of Egypt. The action of the Israelites brings up a very important question for you and I; are we any different from the Israelites? Have we found ourselves in situations that we begin to really question whether God is with us or he has abandoned us? God will never abandon us, he is always faithful. It is for us to remain steadfast in faith when we find ourselves in situations that are very challenging.
In the world in which we live today, people thirst for so many things that will satisfy their desires. Some people thirst for a good life, some people thirst for peace, some people thirst for justice, some of us thirst for power and authority, some thirst for fame, some thirst for wealth and so many other things. In view of their personal desires, they are willing to go to any extent, just to achieve their personal ambitions. Sometimes these ambitions are achieved by hurting in injuring other people. However, the readings of today helps us to set our priority right by thirsting for Jesus, who is the spring of living water; and whose presence in our life will lead us to eternal life.
This is very important. If we take into consideration what St. Paul tells us today in the 2nd reading, in his letter to the Romans. As a result of God’s love for all his children, none of us will be deprived of the living water. This is because Jesus is the living water which comes down from heaven and we are all his children. As a result of his love for humanity, his desire for all of us is life in abundance and not death. This same love has been given to us through the Holy Spirit. It is this same love that made Jesus to accept to come and die for us while we were still sinners.
In the gospel reading of today, we see the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Interestingly, this gospel narrative is found only in St. Johns gospel. The encounter between the woman and Jesus has a lot to teach us as children of God and Christians. Jesus breaks the barrier that separates him from the woman by requesting for water from her. The woman was surprised, taking into consideration the fact that the Jews and the Samaritans are known enemies. Removing this barrier was necessary, so that there will be free communication between them. This action of Jesus challenges us to remove any form of barrier that we have built around ourselves and separates us from each other. Whether ethnicity, nationality, colour or class. We are capable of bringing them down; just like Jesus has shown us.
Dear friends in Christ, It is the living water which comes down from heaven that can really quench our thirst. This is because the more we acquire our earthly desires, the more we desire other things. But just like the saying goes, ‘seek first the kingdom of God and every other thing will be added onto it’. Just like Jesus quenched the thirst of the Samaritan woman, he will also quench our thirsts; if only we can go to him in humility, faith and trust. In baptism, we put on Christ and there is newness of life. In the same way, the Samaritan woman experienced a new life through her encounter with Jesus.
Today’s readings invite us to reactivate the new life given to us by God at baptism; by going to Jesus with an open and sincere heart like the Samaritan woman and we will experience the newness of life that only God can give. When this happens, we will never thirst again.
It is my prayer on this 3rd Sunday of Lent that Jesus the living water will quench our thirst. Peace be with you. Amen.